About Us

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Epicentre Research Center in Uganda

At the heart of Mbarara University of Sciences and Technology (MUST) and Mbarara Regional Reference Hospital (MRRH), Epicentre has been conducting clinical research work for more than 20 years 

Research

Epicentre’s Uganda Research Centre conducts research activities on public health issues relevant to Uganda in particular and Africa in general. Studies are conducted according to GCPs (Good Clinical Practices) and GCLPs (Good Clinical Laboratory Practices) quality standards. Studies are conducted in close collaboration with the MUST, MRRH and other stakeholders in the health sector (Ministry of Health, national programs, MSF, NGOs, universities).
 
The centre has an experienced team of doctors, nurses, statisticians, biologists, laboratory technicians, logisticians, and administrators who ensure the quality of the research. 
Epicentre contributed to seminal Aquamat trial demonstrating that artesunate substantially reduces mortality in African children with severe malaria. Current projects continue to focus on tuberculosis, HIV, central nervous system infections, and yellow fever.

Laboratory

Epicentre Uganda benefits from a laboratory with a biosafety level 3. The laboratory is equipped to do mycobacteriology, perform GeneXpert TB tests, PCR, and routine laboratory analyses. 

Education

Taking advantage of its position at the heart of the Mbarara campus the centre is also actively engaged in teaching at the MUST Faculty of Medicine. Research Centre staff contributes modules to bachelors and masters course in microbiology, molecular biology, and medical laboratory sciences. Laboratory Science students have the opportunity to gain valuable experience in Research Centre’s laboratory. 

Examples of ongoing activities

Co-infection with HIV and Tuberculosis 

A number of studies are conducted in Mbarara to improve the diagnosis and treatment regimens of children and adults with tuberculosis that are often associated with HIV infections. Early diagnosis is important to improve treatment outcome, and adherence to tuberculosis treatment is often difficult due to the length of the standard treatment; typically 6 months. Current studies investigate if it is safe to increase the dose of rifampicin and shorten the duration of treatment. Another study investigates treatment outcomes in patients with a very low CD4 counts, comparing those who are treated immediately for possible opportunistic infections such as tuberculosis versus those whose treatment is only started once such infections have been confirmed.

Yellow-Fever 

Recent outbreaks of yellow fever have highlighted that vaccine stockpiles may not be sufficient to respond to epidemics. There is evidence to suggest that a fractional dose of yellow-Fever (1/5th) may provide sufficient protection and would allow many more people to be protected against infection in situations where vaccine stocks are limited. The study aims to collect data to test this hypothesis.
 

Download the brochure (PDF file)                                                                 Contact in Uganda

Video presenting Uganda Research Center activities